Tuesday, May 27, 2008

censoring myself

Apologies, but the previous blog post has been temporarily pulled because I was just informed that I jumped the gun a little bit on it and that the source I used for the post had wanted to make the announcement themselves before people like me started yacking about it. I'll repost it after they announce it. For those of you who didn't read the now-deleted post and have no idea what I'm talking about...well, cest la vie, you'll find out again soon enough.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Great ATC Exchange

The Great ATC Exchange. opening Friday (tomorrow, May 23rd) at around 7:00pm. Kerry Michaels and Tom Reynolds will be playing tunes at around 8:00.

ATC by Colleen Ansbaugh

Here's a little more info about ATCs from cedarseed.com (love their homepage...this is the ATC link).

As their name indicates, ATC are collectables, a brilliant idea born of the older sports-themed trading cards. The one rule that makes an ATC derives from their origins: the dimensions of the ATC must be 2.5"x3.5", or 64x89mm.

To this rule are appended a couple of conventions. First, an ATC mustn't be sold, only exchanged, as the whole essence of these tiny works of art is about artists meeting (by correspondence or online if need be) and exchanging their works, thus meeting many artists and getting exposed to many personal styles. Second, on the back of each ATC the artist writes part or all of the following information: name, contact information, title of the ATC and number (1/8, 2/8...) if it's part of an edition. By definition ATCs are made in limited numbers, often no more than one of a kind. Unique ATCs are called originals; sets of identical ATCs are called editions and are numbered; sets of ATCs that are based on one theme but that are different are called series. Don't be intimidated by the concept of small editions or originals: very few people are anal about this. What most collectors really want are cards that were made with care. Based on that, numbers are meaningless.

That's all! The above is all you need to know to start making your own ATCs. Common sense dictates that they should be sturdy enough to survive mailing, and of reasonable thickness (unless you specifically want them otherwise. Transparent card sleeves are useful to protect the cards if need be. This is particularly true if they can easily get smudged or if the medium might stick during transport.

So, if you want to join the fun make yourself some ATCs and bring them in, peruse what's up, and make a trade by replacing the one you want with your own. The show will be up for the next four weeks or so.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

This weekend's music and art

I just saw Kerry and he ragged on me "How come your blog ain't posted?" Oyvey! I BEEN BUSY THIS MORNING, DUDE! Ok, so here is the announcement for this weekend.

This Friday night, May 23rd, at 7:00 will be the opening of the ATC (Artist Trading Cards) exhibit and at 8:00 Kerry Michaels and Tom Reynolds will be laying down the vibe for the rest of the night. Tom is a helluva guitar player, having been the band leader for the Larry McCarren show, along with working as a musician in Hollywood in the mid-80s. We went over to Element a couple weeks ago to catch the tail-end of Kerry and Tom's gig there and, I'm telling you, this guy can play! He is as smooth and effortless as a studio musician, as technically skilled as a road warrior needs to be, and with a hardcore rock & blues sensibility. Kerry and Tom sounded excellent together, and we could see and hear a marked increase in Kerry's enthusiasm and excitement at performing with Tom. Catch them here this Friday night.

I'll explain more about the ATC exhibition tomorrow. For now you can learn a little bit about it on Kim's Persimmon's blog.

cool poster huh...

Saturday, May 24th, at 8:00 Jeannie Mayotte will be coming up from Milwaukee to blow us away again with her sweetness and her music. JoAnn Riedl was scheduled to perform again with Jeannie but JoAnn had to cancel this one (she'll be back again soon I'm sure), so Jeannie will be going solo, which we're very pumped about too. You have to go to her myspace site and listen to her stuff if you haven't seen her here before. The girl knows how to write a song that will stay in your head for days, and she has such a charming humility and endearing stage presence (that is, she often seems to be a little nervous...which is a great quality for a performer with talent like hers). Her lyrics are both biting and personal, and her music is melodic and hook-driven. Saturday night...girl with guitar and voice...no nonsense.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Gig pics from last couple weekends on Flickr

Click on the links below each picture (or in the right side column) to check out the images from the last couple of weeks. Not going to comment on these nights next other than to say that they were all a lot of fun...check out the pics on Flickr and you'll see. I do intend to come back to a couple of these in the next three or four days and offer a brief review, so come on back.

Yacking with Kim, Terry, Sandy, (and Roger & Deb) during Bill's night.
Bill Martell 5/2/08

Ethan pushing through the pain of an injured eye...awesome.
Ethan Keller 5/3/08

Katie & Ric: security for Matt's show...putting fear into troublemakers.
Matt Schroeder 5/9/08

Image courtesy of Bill's son Nate Walkner...dang good photographer.

John Willy, Nick and Brian laying it down.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

A stinky tale

A brief story about the anti-polka band and potty mouth: http://diaryofthedaft.blogspot.com/.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Coffee Column

I've been working on a concept for a newspaper column for a while now, a regular (perhaps bi-monthly) column written by yours truly wherein I discuss certain and specific issues and subjects related to coffee, as both a commodity and as a cultural talisman of sorts. There's a good deal more to the basic concept for the column than I'll share here, but I have submitted the loose proposal to a handful of publications, including the Herald Times Reporter here in Manitowoc/Two Rivers. A few have expressed some interest, and I need to follow up with them.

The basic proposal I submitted to editors included elements of the following outline:

The specific topics that can be culled from the general subject of coffee are expansive and varied enough that there is no danger of undo repetition or staleness, and it is a subject that virtually everyone has at least some interest in, either as a casual consumer of coffee in their daily routine or as passionate aficionados

Besides the ever-interesting, albeit obvious subject of all of the various coffee producing countries and geographical regions (and what each specific region imparts to its particular coffee in terms of flavors, aromas, body, etc), other topics under the same umbrella include processing methods (and how they affect the final product); the cultural impact of coffee from both consumer and producer perspectives; the modern coffee culture as its own unique entity; and even the always fun drink mixology itself. We would, however, focus primarily on the different coffees from different regions and estates and what interesting and unique attributes they all have to offer.

We would not, of course, engage in any overt advertising or Stumpjack promotion in any of the columns.

I must give credit where credit is due, in that my idea for a coffee column was sparked by Todd Haefer's "Beer Man" column, which appears semi-regularly in our own HTR, among other publications in the state. Haefer does a great job with his column, creating a nice mix of opinion with factual information, in a well written and informal format. His column is one that I regularly look forward to reading in the newspaper. So, I thought, "beer column...coffee column? Of course!" And given my background in both coffee and writing...well, there you go! We would not, of course, mimic Haefer's excellent column. My style of writing is much different than his and I am not interested in talking about varieties of coffees alone, as Haefer does with beer by discussing a single particular beer each column.

I'll keep you abreast of what, if anything, develops with this. But it should be fun!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Updated: Weekend music report, Urban Gardening, emails...

A short list of various items:

1. I'll post a review and a few pics from this past weekend's music gigs with Bill and Ethan later...have a few items of business to finish up before I get to that, but check back tonight or tomorrow and I should have it up. I need to hear back from Ethan on something before I post the pics from the weekend, and as soon as I do then we'll put them up here. There aren't very many from either night (didn't take as many as we usually do) so we'll combine Friday (Bill Martell) and Saturday (Ethan Keller) into one Flickr set. Hopefully I'll hear from Ethan today.

2. Attached is a flyer for an Urban Gardening information powwow that is being held at the Stump this Wednesday. This is something that, if you're into gardening in any capacity large or very small, you will find both informative and fun. Wednesday at 6:30 at Stumpjack Coffee (click on the flyer to enlarge and get more info). Depending on how this goes on Wednesday we may make this into a regular affair...gardening and sustainability-related discussions. I was surprised after sending out the email announcement for this that we received a number of enthusiastic replies expressing interest in this...I wasn't surprised at the interest in the event but rather that several people from outside the area commented on what a cool thing it is and that they wish they could be here to join in the discussion. Usually people don't bother replying if they can't make an event or live too far away to participate, but this subject clearly is of keen interest to a number of folks.

3. If anyone would like to be added to our growing email list in order to get announcements for live music events, specials we run, and/or other general info having to do with Stumpjack Coffee please send me an email at stumpjack@gmail.com and we'll add you to the list. What we're working on is expanding our email list so that we can get more people involved in doing things like contests, specials, and interactive stuff online. We're also working on a more expansive blog format and online retail availability (for coffees, shirts, mugs, art, etc), and a good number of those items will be available only online. So, we're trying to get more people interested in our online presence as well as getting better at letting people know what's going on at the Stump itself (music, specials, events, etc) and offering in-shop "rewards" and fun stuff for responding to online announcements. So email us if you want to opt in to the mailing list.

There's more to say on these three items and I will do so later tonight I hope, but wanted to get something quick out there now so I can get out and have a cigar by the campfire while there's still some sun and chirping birds outside to enjoy. I actually had two cigars yesterday and enjoyed the fire longer than I thought I would initially...desperately need a little R&R, both physically and psychically. Heidi took over cooking duty for the evening and grilled chicken and made some fabulous veggies...Kim and the girls cleaned up, and so I didn't have to do anything but relax and eat and relax some more...a brief, albeit much appreciated respite.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Ethan Keller tonight...check out these sites.

Tonight, May 3, at 8:00pm: Ethan Keller - jazz and funk guitarist songwriter from Milwaukee and performer at The Jazz Estate.

Here are a few sites where you can see and hear Ethan and his music:
http://www.ethankeller.com/ - Ethan's website.
http://www.myspace.com/ethankeller - his MySpace site.
http://www.mkeonline.com/story.asp?id=1398639 - A brief, albeit somewhat older article about Keller.

One drink minimum. No minimum on good time...

Friday, May 2, 2008

Diary of the Daft

The first Diary of the Daft post is up. "A log of dopey, clueless, silly, irritating, rude and just plain stupid things people have said and done in our coffee shop. No one shall be spared..."